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The Right BBQ Tools for the Job

At its heart your average barbecue is a little slice of volcano intent on spitting lots of little hot bits in your specific direction and producing homing smoke that seems to follow you no matter where you stand. It has been rumored that the American missile defense programme has at its heart small wisps of barbecue smoke installed in the head of each anti-missile missile.

Although a relatively ineffective deterrent against an air to ground missile, protection against the hostile actions of your barbecue can be achieved by the strategic deployment of a surface to surface barbecue fork. This essential element of garden ordinance can be supported by the stealth spatula and Kevlar substitute body armour (cotton apron and gloves).

By creating 'safe areas' on garden furniture some distance from the theatre of operations you can ensure that civilian BBQ casualties are kept to a minimum. These areas can then become the focus of your supply drops for food and drink.

There's also an element of style to be considered here. Next time you're standing at the barbecue, take a glance at your reflection in the window. Is the image one of competence and panache or something dredged from the kitchen of a Soviet Gulag or Dudley secondary school. There's a certain indefinable something that creates a visual culinary image, a feeling of competence, professionalism and not dropping the burgers through the grill.

'The right tools for the right job', my father said, or would have had he been any good at DIY. You can insert your hand into Dante's Inferno on the end of a cutlery fork and you may be lucky and turn or retrieve the item of food but it's a lot easier to do it on the end of a 12" BBQ fork.

There are plenty of 'tools for the job' to choose from ranging from BBQ forks and spatulas to custom designed burger baskets. They make the whole barbecue experience that little bit easier and don't cost the earth.

Barbecue Tools

There are now many different tools available from barbecue shops, some are very useful, while others are not. When buying any tool, check that the metal parts are stainless steel, and that the handle is long and made of either thermoplastic or wood.

Tongs
Doubtless these are the most important tool you will use, so it is important to get a good pair. Be wary of the cheap scissors type, they have a tendency to backfire, sending whatever you're holding flying into a bush. The tongs should not have sharp teeth, as these will pierce the meat and you will lose the juices. Also check that the springiness of the tongs is right.

Fork
Not the best of ideas - Piercing the meat as it cooks - but they can be useful for rapid turning or removing of food. Better to stick with the tongs though really.

Spatula
These are very useful, especially for turning steaks, burgers and other flat meats.

Meat thermometer
Essential if you will be cooking large meat joints, otherwise a waste of time. The best ones have a reading in degrees as well as "rare, medium, well done"

Hinged rack
Very useful, especially for holding fish together, but also for cooking many small items, as it makes turning much faster and allows for more even cooking times.

Barbecue brush
Especially useful for keeping meat moist, by brushing with oil etc.


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